Posts Tagged ‘Kaifi Azmi’

Ten of my Favourite Geeta Dutt Songs

July 20, 2010

Geeta Dutt was launched in a chorus song in Bhakta Prahlad (1946), where she sang only two lines. But her rendering of those two lines stood out. She rose to fame with her next major assignment – as a Playback singer for Do Bhai. Initially she was typecast into singing bhajans and sad songs, but it was S.D Burman who recognized the magic in her voice and brought out a new facet of Geeta’s singing in Baazi. It’s believed that no female singer has better articulated the spirit of Burmanda’s music in its early years than Geeta.

Apart from S.D Burman, she worked a great deal with O.P Nayyar who developed the side of Geeta which had emerged with Baazi. Under his baton she turned into a really hep singer who could belt out any number – soft, sultry, happy, snappy, romantic, teasing or tragic.

Quoting him on Geeta: ” ……….Who will deny there is a unique quality to her singing. Give her a blatantly westernized tune this momentand a complex classical composition the next, and she will do equal justice to both with an ease of expression which a singer can only be born with. She is particularly good for songs accompanying boisterous jamborees. With that tantalizing lilt and fascinating curves she puts into her singing,she is the ideal choice if it is seductive allure you want in a song……..Geeta Dutt is an asset to any music director.”

Remembering Geeta Dutt fondly today, 20th Jul, on her Death Anniversary,  here’s a tribute to this great singer – some of her songs that I like the most.

1. Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I must say that this is a Madan Mohan hangover 😉 It’s such a playful number filled with so much of innocence. It conveys the feeling of a first teenage crush, so unsure and so happy at the same time. Am not a teenager any more but given a situation like this, I would love to dance to this tune myself  – though very filmy, I am not as creative as the people in fims to sing a song of my own (so I would adjust with this) . Madan Mohan’s melodious composition, Rajendra Krishan’s lyrics, Geeta’s magical voice and the glow in Shyama’s face and the twinkle in her eyes – it’s such a mesmerizing blend!

2. Tadbeer se bigdi hui  (Baazi, 1951) : It’s S.D Burman’s jazzy musical scores in Baazi that demonstrated a new facet of Geeta’s singing. She had this ability to breathe life and emotion into any song she was singing. Take this one for example – at times I wonder if this really had two Geetas in this song – one onscreen and the other one behind the screen singing for her. Both are so vibrant and lively. Every emotion that Geeta Bali displays on screen can be felt in the voice. Sahir’s lyrics are quite meaningful and inspirational which inspite of the jazzy music stands out.

3. Arey tauba yeh teri ada (12 O’Clock, 1958) : Be it this or Tum jo hue mere humsafar, Aji ho suno toh, Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara….each song is a gem. Early in the morning, I had heard Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara in Bhoole Bisre Geet on Vividh Bharati, and I was humming it the whole day. I was so definite that I would include it in the list here but then I thought of Arey tauba yeh teri ada and I changed my mind. There’s quite a lot of similarity between Ae dil mujhe bata de and Kaisa jadoo balam tune dara – they both have the same feel to it where as Arey tauba is different in every way and it has HELEN in it!  Aji ho suno toh is quite different too, it has an unique lilt to it, quite different from other songs sung in restaurants and clubs but Arey tauba wins for me. This song does look and sound like a precursor to Mera naam chin chin chu  – the ending music of this song was the starting music of  Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu.

4. Babuji dheere chalna (Aar Paar, 1955) : This is Geeta Dutt’s trademark song. The first thing that strikes one when you hear Geeta Dutt sing is that she never sang. She just glided through the tune. This song just goes on to prove this! Be it Geeta’s rendition or Shakeela’s moves, they just flow with the music. Amazing! This song demonstrates the sexiness in Geeta’s voice and her easy adaptation to western tunes. Though it’s inspired by Perhaps perhaps perhaps, I find Babuji breathtakingly sensuous. Geeta Dutt’s breathy and sultry singing, the brilliant music and picturisation: all of it make it a superb example of what an inspiration should be!

5. Jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji (Mr. and Mrs. 55, 1955) : This song is such a fresh breath of air. An all time favourite of mine. Beautiful and mischievious at the same time with the  right amount of teasing flirtatiousness. Rafi and Geeta Dutt’s rendition for Johnny and Yasmin is so perfect. I love everything about this song. Saw the video after quite a long time today and this reminds me that I had wanted a dress like Yasmin’s when I had first seen this video. By the way, long ago I had heard on tv/radio that Johnny Walker married the girl in this song. But Yasmin and Noor are two different people, right? He was married to Noor (Shakeela’s sister).

6. Aaj saajan mohe ang laga lo (Pyaasa, 1957) : An amazing movie with lovely songs. We have discussed quite a lot about the movie and the song when harvey reviewed the film followed by the musings on the film. As he rightly puts – “The song itself evokes memories of “Aan milo, aan milo shyam saanware” from Devdas. Common to both songs is the origin in the Bhakti. In Bengal and Orissa it is heavily influenced by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The ‘aim’ is to be in love with God so much that one dissolves in the divine. This is the emotion in the song as well. When the song begins placidly Waheeda is shown downstairs. She listens to the song with suspicion and wariness. As the song moves ahead she is shown climbing the stairs symbolising her slow transition and moving to higher levels. She is so overcome with love for Guru Dutt that tears well up in her eyes. And as the mridangs beats rise to a crescendo the emotions swell and she is about to hug him. She raises her arm up and then she moves back and runs to her room. And in this moment there is such clarity as if everything dissolves in the present.”  – truly fantastic and mindblowing! Be it Jaane kya tune kahi or hum aap ki aankhon mein, each song is a beauty (am only talking about the songs that have Geeta’s rendition) but Aaj saajan mohe is not just beautiful, it’s divine.

7. Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam ( Kaagaz Ke Phool, 1959) : This song is a result of Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics, Burmanda’s music, V. K Murthy’s cinematography, Guru Dutt’s direction, Geeta Dutt’s voice and Waheeda’s onscreen presence.  It’s such a  haunting melody – a heart-touching rendition, which has left an indelible impression in my memory. I first heard it on radio and it was only after few years that I actually saw the picturisation. And it took my breath away! I usually prefer playful and romantic numbers but this is one of those few sad songs that I simply adore. Geeta Dutt’s voice lingers in my heart long after the song is played. She makes every word throb with meaning – what an intensity of expression!

8. Piya aiso jiya mein (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : A gem of a song! It just can’t get any better than this. Marvelous singing and incredible performance. When Geeta sings the lines more angan me jub purvaiyya chale, the windows in your brain will open to admit the air full of love. This is a very beautiful & happy song, with traces of a subtle pain, floating deep within the heart….Both Geeta and Meena have no match – they are stupendofantabulouslyfantastic!!! While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations.

9. Mujhe jaan na kaho meri jaan (Anubhav, 1971) : This is probably the last recorded song of Geeta Dutt.  It’s such a great song,  something mystically romantic about it.  Exotically crafted – be it Gulzar’s lyrics, Kanu Roy’s haunting music, Geeta Dutt’s seductive voice,  Tanuja’s performance or the cinematography (esp the raindrops sliding through the window and the plants outside dancing to the breeze and trying to hold the raindrops on their leaves – amazing piece of work!), it’s simply mindblowing – An unmatched classic! It has that lingering effect too….tugs at my heart strings every time I listen to it and it stays with me long after I have heard it. Honth jhuke jab honthon par, saans uljhi ho saanson mein (note the way she breaks the flow and takes a breath while singing saans uljhi ho) and that laughter while singing Meri jaan at the end!

10.  Nanhi kali sone chali hawa dheere aana (Sujata, 1959) : A lovely lullaby – what a soothing rendition! This song speaks a volume about the movie – a mother putting her baby to sleep and  an adopted girl child sleeping in another room. A very well written and executed tale, not to forget absolutely fabulous music by SD Burman. It’s raining outside and there’s a cool breeze coming in from the window…how I wish my mom was here too, I would have asked her to sing this for me. I’m going to play this song to put myself to sleep tonight.

Geeta Dutt, with no formal training in singing of the type of songs that were in vogue at that time, introduced her own brand of appealingly fresh and free flowing style of singing. Her singing was based on instincts and spontaneity, guts and feelings, and love and pensiveness that resulted in breathing life and emotion into each song she sang.

To quote Raju Bharathan, Music Critic…

“Geeta Dutt was thandi hawa and kaali ghata rolled into one. The moment she came, you got the refreshing feeling of aa hi gayi jhoom ke. There was a rare swing in her voice. She hit you like a thunderclap……….This made Geeta Dutt the one singer that Lata Mangeshkar really feared. In training and technique Lata was way ahead but neither training nor technique was of much use when pitted against Geeta in the recording room……..

Truly love her. She will always remain alive through her songs!

May her soul rest in peace!

Advertisements

Ten of my Favourite Madan Mohan Songs

July 14, 2010

Madan’s music was characterized by his immense ability to meld elements of Indian and Western classical music into a new style of Hindi filmi song. He had a keen and sensitive ear for the nuances of Indian classical tunes, and combined them with elements of Western music such as harmonies to produce a style of music that could be appreciated by both classical music aficionados and the common person alike.

As this day, 14th July 2010,  marks 35th Death Anniversary of this Music Director, here are some songs of his that I adore the most. Majority of Madan Mohan’s songs were sung by Lata mangeshkar and all these songs have a certain magic and sweetness to them that few music directors, if any, have been able to recreate. And though I am more of an Asha fan (not that I don’t like Lata, it’s just that I like Asha more), I love all the songs of Madan-Lata duo. 

1. Hoke majhboor mujhe usne bhulaya hoga (Haqeeqat, 1964) : It’s such a beautiful composition – touching lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, haunting music, amazing rendition and  picturization that would bring tears into your eyes. A true masterpiece!  This song also happens to be the only song in which four top-rated male playback singers – Rafi, Talat, Manna Dey, and Bhupendra have put their voices together.  Bhupendra appeared on the screen in this song as well for the first time. This song is believed to be the inspiration behind another Bollywood hit, Sandese aate hai from the film Border. Each song of this movie is a beauty in itself – Kar chale hum fida, Masti mein chhedke tarana, Zara si aahat hoti hai but Hoke majhboor remains the most special one.

2. Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho (Woh Kaun Thi, 1964) : Madan Mohan’s most successful venture was Raj Khosla’s Desi version of Woman in White, titled Woh Kaun Thi?. This film has three Lata solos Naina barse rim jhim rim jhim, Lag ja gale and Jo humne daastaan apni sunayi and a duet, all of which have transcended time and are still heard and applauded with the same enthusiasm today. This is such a divine song – awesome lyrics, mesmerizing music and beautiful voice. Truly amazing! And then Sadhna and Manoj Kumar. I have always  loved Sadhna but I feel  she looks her best here – stunning and enticing. Sadhna, to me, is the epitome of beauty, charm and grace. She is my all-time favorite actress. And Manoj Kumar in the movies prior to the patriotic era has a different appeal altogether…a very handsome man!

3. Main toh tum sang nain milake (Man Mauji, 1962) : This is one of my dad’s favourite songs. When I watched this movie I had no clue as to what songs it had. I had heard the songs but never knew the name of the movie. So I was delighted to hear Zaroorat hai zaroorat hai, Chanda ja re ja and Main toh tum song. I don’t remember the story but I had liked it back then just because of the songs and Sadhna! Personally I like Chanda ja re jaa (it’s such a beautifully executed song) much better but this one’s for dad. 

4. Maine rang li aaj chunariya (Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, 1967) : Being an ardent Rafi fan, I  love Ek haseen shaam ko the best from this movie but I had already included that in Dharmendra special post. So here’s another lovely number from the same movie, this time in Lata’s voice. Nutan’s another favourite actresses of mine. I had seen this movie (not the full movie though) long ago and I had read Thomas Hardy’s Tess also almost over a decade ago, so don’t remember much of both but ever since I read yves’s take on it and the parallels drawn between the movie and the book, I’m dying to re-read the book and re-watch the movie. I actually don’t remember seeing this song while watching the movie. But as always I later on heard it on Vividh Bharati and liked it. It’s a very cutely composed song. Though it goes little beyond my liking lyrically with charano mein piya tere swarg basaye teri daasi part, I love this song for it’s music and vocal delivery and then the rest of the lyrics.

5. Betaab dil ki tamanna (Hanste Zakhm, 1973) : This is another movie with nice songs. Be it Aaj socha toh aansu bhar aaye, Beetab dil ki, Tum jo mil gaye ho, Yeh mana meri jaan – all are very different from one another but they share one thing in common that they all are very beautifully written, composed and sung. Inspite of the rather funny green outfits that both Priya Ranvansh and Navin Nischal are wearig and Priya’s  gold jewellery that doesn’t quite go along with her costume, I like this song a lot. There’s something very mystic and haunting about it. Hanste hanste rode hum itna bhi toh hansao na – is my favourite line.

6. Nainon mein badra chhaye (Mera Saya, 1966) : Jhumka gira re, Tu jahan jahan chalega, Nainon mein badra chhaye, Aap ke pehloo mein aa kar …. each song is a timeless classic, each with a charm of its own. This song is eeirie yet soothing and calm but yet can give you goose bumps. What a beautiful beginning and the magic just continues throughout!!! And it’s so beautifully shot. This film was unique because of Madan Mohan’s  music, Lata’s divine voice and Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s phenomenal lyrics. Madan’s favourite lyricists were Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Kaifi Azmi, and Rajinder Krishan, but Sahir Ludhianvi and Majrooh Sultanpuri also collaborated with him on a few movies. The Madan-Raja pairing in particular produced the classic Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha from the movie Anpadh. Among the many admirers of the song was the legendary Naushad who reportedly said, “Let me have this ghazal and take all my compositions in return” upon hearing it.

7. Milo na tum toh (Heer Ranjha, 1970) : The film is unique in the fact that the entire film and its dialogue is in verse, Kaifi Azmi, the man behind the verse dialogue. But somehow I didn’t like the movie much. May be it’s because I had heard so much about it that I had set my expectations too high. I find other movies of Chetan Anand more remarkable (read Haqeeqat and Aakhri Khat). But I like this song a lot – the sweetness and innocence clubbed with the Punjabi flavour – amazing combo and not to forget Raaj Kumar’s dance!

8. Yehi hai tamanna (Aap Ki Parchhayian, 1964) : This is another movie I want to watch again. When I first saw it as a kid, I hadn’t heard any of the songs before, so I didn’t really care for it. And back then there was no youtube to explore the songs. But now that I have fallen in love with all the songs, I want to see the movie again. Even if the story isn’t all that great, I would be happy just looking at Dharmendra. Again, I had included Main nigahen tere chehre se for Dharmendra special post. Hence it’s another song this time. This has a Lata number too – Agar mujhse mohabbat but I love Dharmendra’s dance in Yehi hai tamanna…it’s  so very cute that I couldn’t resist myself from choosing this and it’s Rafi singing for Dharmendra! There’s another peppy and cute song in this movie – Kabhi ithlake chalti ho which is a Rafi-Asha duet.

9. Har koi chahta hai (Ek muthi Asmaan, 1973) : Madan did not usually employ Kishore Kumar, as his tunes were complex classical-based compositions and Kishoreda had a singing style of his own. But there are few songs they have done together and this is one of them. This song appears 3-4 times in the movie. One part of it is picturised on legendary Pran saab and that happens to be my favourite part. Vijay Arora spoils it for me. He’s cute to look at but the way he jumps around and tries to dance to this song is pathetic. If only he could emote and act a little better! It’s a very sweet song and philosophical at the same time. It never fails to soothe me. By the way, how many songs did Pran get to lip-sync? I can only think of Hum bolega toh bologe ki bolta hai, Yaari hai imaan mera and this at the moment.

10. Do pal ruka (Veer Zara, 2004) :  In 2004, Madan’s unused tunes were recreated by his son, Sanjeev Kohli, for the Yash Chopra blockbuster Veer-Zaara. The lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar, and Lata Mangeshkar was invited to once again sing the majority of the melodies composed by her dear friend. Not that I ran out of oldies but I am including this song just to show that Madan Mohan’s music, composed more than 30 years ago is accepted and applauded by the crowd with the same enthusiasm even today.

Madan Mohan was also called the King of Ghazals. If any composer had utilised the ghazal andaz of Mohammad Rafi to the best of his potentiality it is Madanmohan.  Aap ke pehloo mein aa kar, Teri aankhon ki siwa duniya mein, Ek haseen shaam ko, Tumhari zulf ki saaye mein shaam kar lunga etc are the few among them. But for a change I concentrated more of songs sung by Lata today. Saving Rafi’s gems for some other day 🙂

He aspired to becoming an actor but ended up directing music! Hats off to this great man for the lovely tunes he composed. May his soul rest in peace.

Today also happens to be the Birth Anniversary of Roshan. It’s already too late to do another post now. So here are few songs of his that I can think of at the moment – Ek toh surat pyaari, Jo baat tujh mein hai teri tasveer mein nahin, Paao choo lene do, Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat, Baaharon ki manzil rahen, Laaga chunri mein daag. Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein, Rahe na rahe hum.